"obscure terrain,
unnamed humans,
bits and parts of machinery,
recollection and fact,
emotion and numbness,
nothing and someness.."

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Voyage to Chai, Gülşen Çalik

I remember drinking lots of tea. I left the used tea bags around the room. The bags dried; the leaves left cryptic imagery on the surface: dogs, aliens, firemen, divers, buildings, machinery, and oddly, people I thought I had noticed in the subway. It was as if the dried up bag would come alive with a face, or a tree, or two trees, then a forest... I enhanced the images with colored inks and watercolors. It became a bad habit. I started keeping a visual diary of sorts although that is probably an exaggeration. I would some days "paint" these images for half a day, and this would go on for a week, and some times I could only paint three or four tea bags. I have around 1,700 tea bags. At Tribes Gallery on the Lower East Side, I pinned over 1,400 bags onto the walls. The gallery smelled like a bottle of exotic drink. Chai, which is the word for tea in Asia, became the title for the series. Out of a need for phrasing, I called the series, "Voyage to Chai."

Voyage to Chai, Gülşen Çalik

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